Saturday, March 8, 2008

Stormy Saturday Afternoon

I feel a little like I'm just waking up from a long and restless nap, but I'm much much better today. Torrential rain all afternoon, which Hedgehog and I braved to keep a luncheon date with some dear friends of ours. It's always so much easier when the girls and the mamas get along. I find it very congenial when we all hang out together. I ate a delicious hot squash soup with tarragon, which tasted like the very essence of getting better after a long illness.

Late this afternoon, with the wind and rain howling outside, I got out my dear violin. She is much beloved, with a strong true tone. I've had her since I was twelve:

I played a bit on my own, then Sgt. Pepper got out his guitar and joined me for a little hootenanny. Hedgehog played the buttons (as in, she rhythmically clicked two buttons together in time to our music; actually sounded pretty cool) and we all sang. I can't possibly explain how I feel when I play my violin--she's one of my oldest friends, and I just love her so. Her familiar heft, her lovely sound. We took some requests from E. ("Dirty Old Town," "Scarlet Begonias," "Lullaby of London") and then moved on to some of our favorite Irish music:

What a wonderful afternoon.

Now, having been tagged by Cecile to list Seven Things about Myself, here you go:

1. I got my driver's license just a few years ago (I'm 38). But I've become a really good driver, and drive all over Brooklyn and Manhattan, midtown, the streets and expressways, like a pro. I think of myself as a taxi driver who doesn't make you carsick. Even Sarge doesn't like to drive in the city, but I'm kinda ballsy like that.

2. I've played violin since I was five. Some of my earliest memories are of playing.

3. I'm Jewish and I majored in religion in college, but I specialized in formative Christianity. I'd never even read the Christian bible before that, and I got very interested in the Apostolic Age. I minored in Ancient Greek.

4. I am a Rabbinical School drop-out. Yes, I was studying to be a Rabbi, but switched tracks to criminal justice. Hmm.

5. My first love was thirty years older than I. I was a freshman in college. He was a pretty well-known rock journalist. He totally stomped on my heart. But he made me amazing mixed tapes.

6. I have a rather useless Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology. My favorite class was "Introduction to the Rorschach," where we learned to read the famous inkblot test and even practice on people we knew, then write up evaluations of their psyches. Totally presumptuous and not so useful. SO MUCH FUN.

7. After some peripatetic years (college, Israel, Texas, Queens) I've settled in the neighborhood of my childhood. I feel a deep connection to it, and have no real desire to leave. I'd even live in my childhood home if I could. You know the small-town girl who breaks away? I don't want to be her.

That's it--a little bit of me.


(Not-So) Cynical Gal said...

I actually find forensic psych really interesting! And...I love this meme. Thanks for sharing it.

Too Little Time said...

Very interesting me - =) K

Robyn said...

Oh leah!

You play the violin! Oh see...I knew we were kindered spirits! I don't play the violin but clarinet! I haven't picked up my girl in about 4 years...very sad I know. But you have inspired me to open the case and upwrap her. Run my hands over her wood base and beautiful metals bits!

I ADORE no LOVE the violin. It is so haunting and every time I hear someone takes me away. The notes just carry me off to some wonderful place. It truly makes beautiful music.

When I went to London for the first time with my mom (who is British) and she was showing me all the wonderous places. We were walking through a tunnel (that would eventually lead to the underground), while walking in this tunnel, we heard this music drifting around our ears! Its haunting tone, calling us. Soon we came across a young man who was making the violin come alive with it's story of music! It was wonderful and because it sounded so beautiful in those tunnels, it echoed all the way till we walked on the underground. I could have stood there all day! Just drifting off into a wonderful abyss.

Loved all the kirking things about YOU...just makes me like you that much more!

The Queen said...

Dear Leah,
thank you for sharing your passion for music. Funny that two of my xhusbands are musicians and the other was a music agent. Ummmm, I see a pattern! I've always wanted to play an instrument but my small catholic school didn't have a music department. My passion was dance and art from a young child so I can relate to objects moving your soul. When I hold a drawing pencil, brush...I feel extended and complete. I like how you put it, old friend. Yes, old friend is a wonderful way to explain our passionate relationships to that extension of ourself...and your family joins you. You are blessed!

Suzanne said...

Hi Sweetie,

Well, I'm finally here and what a perfect place to land. My friends are here, you're here...and I'm here despite a horrible concussion!

My beautiful niece plays the violin. I'll have to post a photo. She received her dream, a purple violin for her 15th birthday. That was a few years ago, but the photos are still stunning. I'll share them with you. I'm a huge Vivaldi and Handel fan, so while she was learning encouraged her to play both. We'd chat on the phone and she'd play for me. It brings tears to my eyes. Just like you, know she will love her violin all the days of her life. She was so horrible at first, but over the years she blossomed. She was in Jazz Ensemble, Orchestra and Band. She had to give up Jazz to be in Band, but did so with grace. She couldn't be in everything. I've always been so proud of her and when you wrote about the violin, it brought back beautiful memories.

I knew you were Jewish. Somehow, I just knew. I don't know why. I just did.

Yes, honey, I'm from NY. Upstate. The Catskill Mountains. The Woodstock area. I know you know. I knew you would. When I first heard your "voice" on Brian's blog, I just knew. I'm thinking about moving home. If I do, you are ALWAYS welcome. I'd like to open a shop in Woodstock. If and when I do, I want you to know that you and your family are always welcome at my home. There's a great knitting shop in Woodstock I know you'd love. We could hang out, drink nice coffee and laugh. Perfect!

It's taken a long time for us to meet, but it's brilliant, isn't it? I know.

Love you dear,
Suzanne XO

Skeeter said...

Wow, that's not a resume' you see everyday! I'm a guitar player, but love the violin's sound. Thanks for sharing. best wishes.

Suzanne said...

Hi Sweetie,

I left a message on my blog for you, but if you read this first, please visit my friend John Reynolds. He's a photographer in Ireland who's work I know you'll enjoy, but his current post will warm your heart. You'll see. You can find him on my links.

It's so wonderful to talk to you. I'm glad we finally connected.

Much love,
Suze XO

Robyn said...

Leah! I didn't know you are on Swap-bot! I LOVE IT! Yes join in the Dotee Doll swap! I have posted the creator's directions at the bottom of my page! She is the one who started the Dotee Doll craze!
I am glad you liked my post!

P.S. Wish I could knit or remember how to crochet!


fun post... so yer studying to become a what now? hmmm... i couldnt play an instrument to save my life! i am a great whistler though...

Cecile said...

Wonderful, wonderful wonderful. I am so glad that you are felling better. The soup sounded delicious, but then again, I'm kind of hungry and I'm eating fish sticks. Hope you have a wonderful week and thanks for my beautiful comment on my blog.


what?!?! no commentsie backsies? hurumpf...*storms out*